Bloodstorm Part 1byWindyCityMadman©
Eventually, we arrived at the main house. Empty now, I did hope one day to fill it again with the sounds of a family, just not yet. At that time, I was only using five house servants: two in the kitchen, two as maids, one upstairs, the other downstairs, and an older male servant as both butler and personal valet. They were well trained and did not bat an eyelash when they were informed of the guest for dinner. Joseph took my riding coat and Jonas' cape. We then adjourned to the parlor for pre-dinner drinks. I poured myself a good, stiff tumbler of Scotch. Jonas declined an alcoholic beverage, asking only for water.
He started telling me tales of that horrid winter in Pennsylvania. Men's feet bleeding in the snow and other stories that may seem familiar to any schoolboy today, but those stories were not common knowledge at the time. I was enchanted by both the stories of my father and the man who was doing the telling.
Yet, there was no way that I could indulge in the crush I felt forming for this man. This was not a slave who could be threatened with death for not complying or keeping the matter quiet. In truth, he could have me hung at the very mention of the word. Besides, I did not treat guests in that manner.
After dinner, I did go so far as to ask him if he had a place to stay in the area.
"If not," I said, praying fervently that it would be the case. "You are more than welcome to stay here as long as this house suits your needs."
"I must warn you," He said with, what I would come to know later, his most feral grin. "I have been known to keep very odd hours. I would, in all likelihood, provide terrible company for you, I just would not want to impose."
My heart dropped for, having made the offer of hospitality and it being refused, it would be ungentlemanly to insist. That was the role for the lady of the house. I would also risk exposure. In a split-second decision, with no other lady of the house to complicate matters, I decided to risk it and press the matter anyway.
"Nonsense, you wouldn't be an imposition, far from it, in fact. This house has been nearly empty for the past year and I have grown tired of rattling around in here like a dried-out pea in a pod. I had even considered selling this place to my nearest neighbor, if he would be able to meet my terms." I said, horrified at the way I was rambling, but unable to stop.
"Well," He said, as he rose from the dining table. "We couldn't allow that to happen, now could we? I suppose it wouldn't hurt any to stay for awhile. If I become too much of a bother, you must be sure to let me know and I will no longer trouble you. Now, I must attend to some business tonight. I'll return tomorrow morning with my baggage." With that said, he left, leaving me almost gasping from the shock of his absence. To quench the raging desire that I felt, I did something that I did very rarely. I took one of the maids to my bed.
The house settled into a new routine over the next two weeks. Jonas would arise around the time that I was coming in from the fields. We would have dinner together, discussing the events of the day, news from the surrounding countryside, even our own philosophies about almost any subject. I would then go to bed, while Jonas, to my initial knowledge, would sit in the parlor, reading well into the night. I was unaware of how he made his way in the world, but at the end of the first week, he handed me ten dollars in gold. I protested, of course, but he said he had no need for charity. He also pointed out that he had very little need for money, given my hospitality, so it might as well be put to good use. I felt uneasy, but I pocketed the coins.
At around the same time, I was plagued with two slaves running off and several of my cows dying mysteriously. I was frustrated by this and was more worried about the loss of the field hands than the cattle. Cattle could be replaced easier and other cows didn't start whispering superstitious nonsense when one died. At least, I didn't think they did. I was also personally hurt by the actions of those slaves, since I thought I treated them well.
As I said earlier, it is hard in this modern age to justify slavery. It is an institution that should have died a faster death. Yet, I believe I treated them as humanely and decently as anyone could have, given the times.
I became so concerned by these events that I went so far as to ask surrounding planters about their problems. This just wasn't done then. It not only exposed a potential weakness in my operation; it also was unseemly to air any problems of that sort. That is why I was surprised to find that there were similar events happening on the other plantations, to an even greater degree. One of my fellows had even lost an entire field group doing some night work. The concern with this disappearance was the loss of an overseer as well. There were no witnesses to any of these events. Some of the men even talked of doing some night riding to hunt down the runaways. The deaths of the livestock were almost ignored. We just made no connection to these two problems. This led to my downfall, due to a lack of caution, or maybe a combination of arrogance and ignorance.
It was late one night, well after midnight, and I was having trouble sleeping. I was on the verandah, (yes, I realize the image is just too southern, but that is what it was called) drinking some hot rum, to rid myself of the suspicions that I felt growing within me.
Suddenly, I heard loud noises, screams really, coming from a nearby barn. Not thinking, I ran to the building without so much as a stout club. I threw open the door and charged in. The slaughterhouse sight that assaulted me stopped me in my tracks.
The appearance of Jonas, with blood and gore dripping from, what can only be described as a maw, almost made me vomit. My survival instinct must have deserted me, because I fell to my knees and started sobbing, screaming, rocking back and forth. I have no idea… No, I'm lying. I know exactly why I felt this way. At some point, I had fallen in love with this man and the monster that confronted me, now horrified me. I was crushed.
"Oh, Damias," He said, wiping his mouth clean. That did it for my stomach, I emptied it all over the straw. There was only one thing that made it bearable. The carcass that he was crouched over was a cow. "I would have given anything to spare you this sight." He approached me and stroked my cheek.
I was disgusted with myself, because this touch provoked an instant reaction in me. I looked up at him, into his eyes, with tears streaming down my face. His fingertips wiped my tears away.
"What is all this? What kind of monster are you?" I asked, perhaps stupidly, but I was calming down.
"I'm no monster, Damias. Some, in truth most, of humanity, may say so, but they do not have the capability top understand exactly what I am. If you want, and only if you want, I can show you."
"What will you do? What do you want me to do?" At that point, I was willing to jump off a cliff if it meant that I could be with him.
"Just do what you have done with other men, for now. When the time comes, I will show you the way."
Remember, at this time, the word vampire was not as well known as it is now. This was before the publication of Mr. Stoker's novel and well before the current explosion of fascination in all things related to our kind. I honestly had no idea of the size of the abyss that I was about to throw myself into.
I stroked the inside of his thighs and went quickly to what was of greatest interest to me, massaging him through the velvet of his pants. I was eager, I always have been, and continue to be so today. I unbuttoned him and gasped in wonder at what greeted me. Not only was he bigger than I expected, but he was the first one I had seen that was circumcised.
I touched it, experimentally. It felt the same and I found out quickly that it even tasted the same. He placed his hands on the back of my head, controlling my motion. He grew even larger in my mouth, but he pulled away before I had the opportunity to find out if his seed tasted the same.
"On your hands and knees, if you wish to join me." He said, with an animal gruffness in his voice.
I quickly complied and he pushed into me, allowing me time to expand around him. I groaned feeling his girth and groaned again when I felt how deep he could go into me.
He started slowly, with one hand on my shaft, pulling my foreskin back, teasing me. I forced myself back against him, taking him as deep inside me as I could.
"Harder. Go harder and faster, Jonas." I cried out to him. He took my instruction and really started thrusting into me. I did not see what he did to his body, but when he started having his orgasm, he held his wrist to my lips. At first, I merely licked at what I found there, but something in my mind told me to suck at him.
It tasted like the hot rum I had enjoyed earlier and I found that both of his pulses, that of his seed and of his blood, were synchronized. Then, I realized that it was his blood that I was drinking and I fainted.
I came to minutes later; Jonas collapsed on top of me. In my own delirium, I guess that I had ejaculated as well, because I felt the cooling slick of sperm on my belly, mixing with the straw. My throat burned, as if on fire.
"We should go into the house, Damias. I'll explain what you are when we can be assured of more privacy." Jonas said, pulling himself from me. I was struck by the irony of the statement and started giggling.
I stumbled to the house with his aid. I can't fully put into words the confusing mix of pleasure and pain, the intense burn of sexual fulfillment and a different burning that I later identified as hunger. I was crying a little as I collapsed in the parlor, my mind spinning like a top. A sharp, painful slap to my face, brought me fully awake.
"Don't go crazy on me, youngling. I chose you for this, because I thought you had the intelligence to be a good friend and the stamina to endure the changes you face. Don't disappoint me."
I gathered myself. His words shamed me, because I felt the truth of them, though I did not know exactly what changes he was talking about at the time. Therefore, that was my first question.
"The best way to tell you what you will become, is to tell you what I am. The Wandering People, the Romany, call our breed vampyr, or vampire. Some call us soul-eaters, or the damned of eternity. Those last two are descriptions born out of ignorance and hatred. We suffer from a disease, almost like swamp fever. This disease gives us both gifts to enjoy and burdens to bear." He then went on to explain most of what I have already told you, though he had to explain his most recent behavior.
"Sometimes, a vampire gets caught up in the ecstasy. The risk of that gets larger as a vampire gets older. I call this frenzied nature a Bloodstorm. One forgets his more civilized nature."
"Why, then, was it your blood I drank, rather than you doing the drinking?"
"Because I was creating, not feeding, Damias. This disease is carried in the blood. For some reason, however, it is only active at the moment of the vampire's orgasm. Any other time, our blood is like any mortal's. As you are very aware, we do bleed. Our hearts pump; our lungs fill with air. The nonsense that some ignorant fools spout about the undead is simply untrue. We can be killed, though it is difficult to do so, since the disease heals most damage instantly. At least, it works that way at night. Why this is true is a mystery. You may hear that daylight will kill one of us and at your current age and in your current state, it would. For one of my age, it is only unpleasant, at most painful, to be abroad in the sun."
"How old are you?" My curiosity began to overcome my fear.
"I became as I am in 478." My mind spun again at that, trying to grasp the idea of the age of him. He chuckled at the expression on my face. "If you are careful and wise, Damias, you will one day have the same number of years behind you. I know, because I remember that I was exactly like you, naïve and scared. You, however, have an advantage I did not. A teacher who has this amount of experience and a second father who cares for you very much. You will learn quickly, but for now you have only begun."
I did learn quickly and I have enjoyed much of what I have experienced. There have been times when Jonas and I have gone our separate paths. Times when we have not seen one another for a decade at a time. We have always returned to each other.
We may return to my past, if it is helpful to throw light on something, but for now we will return to the events of that odd and awful year.
Chapter Four: Dark Seeds
"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be meat."
- Genesis 1:29
South Shore Apartments, Chicago, Illinois, August 2, 2002, 9:30 P.M.
He awoke alone and in great pain. The pain was difficult to locate or even describe. The best he could come up with was a comparison to having chunks of ice lodged in his joints. The patches of blood on the sheets, damp to the touch, bothered him. It relieved his mind only a little, when he could find no injuries on his body to account for them.
There were major portions of the night before, which were simply not in his memory. He remembered the bar he had gone to, to try to blot out the memories and the desires. He remembered drinking a great deal, more than he did usually. He remembered the woman who had sat in the stool next to him; and the feeling of muddled surprise when he struck up a conversation with her.
She had seemed nice; not exactly what he was usually attracted to though. She was a little too voluptuous, slightly older than he was used to dealing with. She had seemed to be very interested though and had persisted in reaching some form of common ground. He wondered exactly how much he had ended up telling her. Surely not every thing or they would not have come back here.
Where 'here' was, exactly, was one of the memories that lay in a black hole of consciousness. He assumed it was her apartment, but he wondered where she had gone. He certainly would not have left a strange woman alone in his apartment, so, he thought, she must be close by.
He rose, slowly. Standing on two feet did not make the pain go away. In fact, his gut started heaving and he felt like he was about to vomit. He ran to the door that he felt must be where the bathroom was hiding. The cool porcelain that lay behind the door was a welcome haven. Just kneeling over the bowl of the toilet made his stomach feel better and the nausea subsided. With the retreat of the nausea, the memories began to return.
He remembered the beginnings of intercourse. The idea that this had happened astonished him at first. Then, curiosity replaced that feeling. He knew that fear had been his first reaction to her body. It seemed out of proportion to his idea of what was ideal. The fear had left though. At least, it probably had. He recalled entering her, but everything after that faded into the darkness.
Suddenly, his stomach really rebelled and he did vomit. What he saw in the bowl made him retch even more. Bright scarlet threads, cables really, ran through the off-colored contents of his stomach. What must surely be the remnants of his last meal.
His heart started pounding and sweat slicked the surfaces of his palms. Images, not quite defined, flickered on the interior surfaces of his eyelids, as he ran cold water in the sink. The water on his face and the back of his neck didn't really make him feel better, but he was doing something. He had done nothing for so long, apathy had become almost second nature to him.
He went back into the bedroom, the images still present, still disturbing, but more background music to his present concerns. It began to bother him where he was and where she had vanished. He went through the rest of the apartment and found it deserted. At least, it felt like an apartment, and not a hotel room. It never crossed his mind to leave the rooms and check the door leading outside; his mind just wasn't functioning on that level.
It was on this tour of the place that little details started bothering him, the absence of windows, the lack of any mirrors, the perfectly outfitted kitchen, with no food in either pantry or refrigerator. The sum of the weirdness seemed to outweigh the weirdness of her absence.
It was in the kitchen that he found the note.
"My child," It began. "What I tell you now may seem either unbelievable or fantastical. All I can say is that, when you search your heart, you will know I speak the truth. I am a vampire and I have made you to be as I am. All that you know, or probably believe, about the legends are true, so act accordingly. I am not a nurturing parent and I will not explain to you why you were chosen to bear this fruit of darkness. I believe that the best way to rear our children is to allow you to learn your own lessons. You will either sink or swim, but you will do so on your own. My only word to you is that the blood is now your food. If you search your memories of last night, you will know how to feed. Go forth."
The note was signed with a single, brutal initial, the letter 'C'. It was more the cold, unfeeling tone of the note, than its contents, that caused him to sit heavily on the floor. He did not have to search his heart too far for the truth. It just felt true, from start to finish. It filled things in, like the final few pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
What bothered him had been the sense of hope that this woman had been different. Well, he thought, she was. Just a little more different than I thought. He had dared to hope that she might care for him personally, but she had turned out like all the other women, not wanting anything to do with him after she had got what she wanted.
The familiar sense of despair descended on him. He would have to return, after all, to what he was used to having. The thought both displeased him and strangely thrilled him. An unfamiliar feeling came upon him at the same time, however. It took some time for him to identify it and when he did, he was slightly sickened. He began to wonder if his memories were reliable enough to follow. Then, he decided that it didn't really matter. He would follow his instincts and the feeling that was growing in him.
He identified the feeling as hunger.
Chicago Homicide Unit, Chicago, Illinois, August 4, 2002, 9:15 A.M.
John Parker searched his desk for a lighter. He would kill right now for a cigarette. He realized the irony of the thought and gave a sharp bark of laughter. Mike was always telling him to invest in a Zippo, but he knew that he would lose that as easily as the dime store variety that he usually used. It seemed more economical, somehow, to continue the way he always had. Of course, the type of lighter that he used was often considered, if found on a suspect, to be drug paraphernalia. They even called them 'crack lighters'. Another irony that made John laugh.
The sense of frustration that he felt was not just from being unable to find a lighter. The case was going nowhere. The remains of Vincent Chambers had, indeed, been as blank a slate as the others and the heat from Chief O'Brien to move on to other cases was becoming unbearable. That fact had been made clear when he had arrived this morning to find his desk covered with files. Routine homicides, if he could bear calling them that, that were mostly drive-by shootings and gang fights.
"Hey, Parker." Mike said, as he came in the door. "Grab your jacket, it looks like we've got a big one brewing. I just ran into the Chief in the hall."